First page of the Alternate archive.

Winding Sticks – alternate use

Posted by is9582 on February 19, 2016 with No Commentsas , , , , , , , , ,

I’ve been doing a lot of hand planing lately, with a good portion of that in the “flattening” mode, as opposed to a more general “smoothing” mode. While I was working today, I was checking my progress with a pair of Winding Sticks, and as I used them I wondered if others do the same thing.

So, I’ll start with a basic description of using the winding sticks, for anyone not familiar, and then share my trick of the trade, but I also made a short video earlier, that I’ll post down below.

When I’m preparing to use a hand plane in order to flatten a board, if the board is fairly large, I can usually feel whether there is a crowning in the center or not. If the board is fairly narrow, the only really good option is to use my pair of winding sticks, as they amplify the differences making it much easier to see even small discrepancies.

As I progress on the larger boards, it is less and less easy to feel the shape of the board, and the winding sticks again are required. On larger, and wider boards, it can be difficult to know for sure just where you need to remove wood, even if you’ve determine there is a crowning on your board. After I set the winding sticks on the board I wish to test, with the winding sticks’ center dots close to the centerline of the board, I sight over the stick closest to me, and lower my sight until the first portion of the far stick’s top edge is obscured. This will either be the right corner, the left corner, or the whole stick. The first two results indicate there is still twist/wind in the length of the board, which requires further work. The last results indicates the two sections where the winding sticks are sitting, are in the same plane. This doesn’t automatically mean the board is flat, so you need to test in multiple locations down the board. I usually leave the winding stick alone, the farthest from me, and move the closer one towards the other stick, in about 6″ increments. If you get the same “in plane” reading all along the board, just make sure to check for flat along the length of the board, with the longest straight edge that you have.

Now, back to the tip portion of the article. After I check the winding sticks, and find there is still twist/wind as well as a slight crowning, I lightly tap the end of one of the sticks, and watch to see where it’s center of rotation is located (the highest part will be very close to the center of rotation). I made my winding sticks out of cocobolo, and they will spin quite easily on any raised section, but metal winding sticks may not spin as freely. In either case, you can also lightly hold the winding stick towards it’s center, and while applying extremely light downward pressure, try to rotate the stick. If the stick still rotates fairly easy, the center of rotation will again be very close to the highest point. If you feel some friction, even if it still spins, you are likely getting pretty close to flat.


Click on the link below, to watch the included video:

Winding Sticks to determine where to plane


Highland Woodworking - Fine Tools Since 1978

I hope this helps anyone that is having some trouble working wood flat, with hand tools. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments. You can also find me on Twitter as @LeeLairdWW and on Instagram as LeeLairdWoodworking.

Lee Laird

Regain iPhone storage space – (non-woodworking)

Posted by is9582 on April 11, 2015 with No Commentsas , , , , , , , , ,

First, let me apologize that this article isn’t woodworking nor music related; exactly. I’m straying a bit, but there is a nexus, because it does have a direct impact on one of the tools with which I use to share what I’m working on, with you. So I believe it is important!

To preface this, I take a load of photos with my iPhone 5, so I can hopefully have a choice of what I can post in my articles. After I move the mass of photos to my computer, and decide which I’ll use, I go back and remove the photos from my phone.

Ok, with that in mind, I took a couple of photos the other day, to help me on a project. I determined I needed some subsequent photos, but when I brought up the camera app, I was met by the “Sorry, you don’t have enough space!” pop-up message. The project was super time sensitive, so I went through trying to figure out what I could do to quickly resolve the problem. After looking through my iPhone’s system menus, I saw I had almost zero space available. I couldn’t believe it, but shifted to the “what can I delete” mindset.

I went through and deleted emails, messages, some not-regularly-used programs, and on and on. I was regaining some space, but it was miniscule. I went back into my photos and started deleting other non-writing related images, but the space available didn’t change. I thought I was going to lose it! So, I thought through it and it came to me; I probably need to reboot my phone, for the trashed photos to get emptied. A reboot later, nothing!

With my deadline racing towards me, I found some images inside of iMessage conversations, that upon deletion, at least gave me enough space to take a few photos.

I decided to dive into the problem this morning, as I couldn’t believe what had happened. This is what I found. With the new iOS8, they added a new folder inside of Photos, and it seems it is only accessible in folder view. The folder is called “Recently Deleted”.

Evidently, someone at Apple decided the end-user needed something of a safety net, when working with their photos. All of the photos that I’ve been deleting, since shifting to iOS8 (*actually, the last 30 days, as I explain further down), were right there in that dang little folder. You have to open the “Recently Deleted” folder, choose select in the upper right corner, and then in the lower left corner, click the now visible “Delete All”. (**Make certain this is what YOU wish to do, as I know of no way to get these photos back!)

I went back into the system settings and my available space increased by 1 GB! As far as I can tell, there is no method for turning off the “Recently Deleted” folder, without going into a Jailbreak situation (which I’m just not going to do). One thing I did find later, is the photos in this new folder do actually get deleted from the system, on their own, but only after 30 days (I can’t find a way to modify this timeframe). So, if you are hurriedly working to make room in your iPhone, for some impending project (or family gathering), know that it takes two steps to actually remove any photos from the Photos storage space. Just think of it much like when you work in your email program. If you delete any messages, they normally go into the Trash folder, which you must open, choose all and expunge (unless you have set it to auto-remove from the program).

Knowledge is power, and I hope I’ve shared something with you that will give you the power to keep your iPhone working for you, rather than the other way around.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the article and please let me know if you have any comments or questions.

Lee Laird

Had to help a friend

Posted by is9582 on April 10, 2015 with No Commentsas , , , , , , ,

Ok, so the title of this article sounds like I’m being all noble and stuff, right?? Well, that is how I try to live my life, but you may think it is a bit misleading, after reading the next part. A great friend offered some nice wood, in different species, to me the other day. […]

Alternate marking “knife”

Posted by is9582 on March 8, 2015 with No Commentsas , , , , ,

During the recent build of the saw sharpening vise, I’d already dimensioned the front leg to the final size, and wanted to score the rear leg to this width, so they would match exactly. I grabbed all three of my marking knives, and with the front leg 10/4 Pecan, none of the blades in the marking knives […]